It’s said the only constant in life is change. March of this year, Sue and I started on an adventure. On the return from an Arizona vacation, I teased Sue about stopping at every potential fishing spot along the way. Of course, the answer was always the same, “No, not enough time, we need to get home.” Along the way, I pointed out a large RV unit and jokingly said, “Maybe we should get one of those, then we’d be home when I stop to fish.” There was a period of silence before she responded, “Well, I’ve been thinking and we need to talk.”
I turned 66 in May, and figured I would retire at some point thereafter. Not from Fish Explorer, rather from my wage earning job. Knowing this, coupled with a desire to see the United States more fully than our current plans, Sue had been thinking about becoming full-time RVers.
Talk we did, long and hard. The math worked out, it’s fiscally feasible. We decided that a large fifth-wheel and a truck to pull it was a better option for us than a motor home. Next we set a budget and when shopping for the fifth-wheel. Unfortunately, what we found on the lots didn’t suit. Those that were close needed a bit of modification. That’s when we ran into a brick wall. Not a single major manufacturer was willing to work with us, as in ordering a unit with, what we considered, some minor modification. One even went so far to say, “You buy it and you can do whatever you want with it.”
After some searching we found three companies that do custom work, one was out of our price range. We visited the other two, New Horizons in Junction City, Kansas and Starcraft in Concordia, Missouri. Ultimately, we chose Starcraft to build us a 39 foot fifth-wheel. The only issue is they build a unit a month and the earliest we could get ours is March 2018, ten months out.
With the fifth-wheel on order, I set my retirement for the end of March. Now that we knew how big the trailer would be, we when truck shopping. After checking lots across three states we were unable to find a unit with what we wished. Most were heavy on fluff and short on the towing features. We gave up and ordered a Ford 350 duel-wheeled rig with the big diesel. It has all the towing functionality we need, and I’ll admit, a whole lot of bells and whistles too. We looked at Chevy and Dodges also. In truth any of the three would do a good job, and the decision was made based a handful of personal preferences.
Aside from purchasing the truck and fifth-wheel, we’ve been busy eliminating decades accumulation of stuff. To date, we’ve nearly emptied the basement, passed the heirlooms on, sold the boat, cleared out the garage, got down to one vehicle, and thinned the upstairs to the point we’re about ready to prepare the house for sale.
As part of the process I’ve had to thin down my fishing collection, including a store’s worth of tying material, to quantities that have a chance of fitting in the RV along with Sue’s sewing center, clothes and other household items. It’s not easy going from 2700 square feet and a two car garage to under 400 square feet and a truck.
What’s all of this have to do with fishing? Simply, once on the road I’ll be fishing all over the country and plan on sharing those experiences here on Fish Explorer. That’s something I’ve not been doing of late, as my focus has been on making retirement and full-time RVing a reality.
Visiting with Matt
about having several boxes of excess tying material, prompted him to plan Monday’s Barbs and Brew fly tying and materials exchange at the Horse and Dragon
. I’ll be bringing six boxes, maybe more, of “excess” to “exchange”. I’d like my excess to find a home. I may not tie, but I’m sure planning on a beer or two and visiting with my fellow Fish Explorer members. Hope to see you there.
Lloyd Tackitt, TX 11/16/2017 1:45:52 PM
That's cool stuff Dave! Coincidentally I lived in Concordia many years ago, it is a great town with the best of people living there. Be sure to get you a coffee pot that you can plug into your truck so you can have fresh hot coffee while tooling down the road.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 11/16/2017 1:48:51 PM
That's an idea. We do have an 120 outlet on the dash. I'll let Sue know. Still planning on being in your neck of the wood sometime next fall.
Kenny Rukspin, CO 11/16/2017 1:59:31 PM
Congratulations Dave! I am looking forward to reading about your adventures in the months and years to come.
Lloyd Tackitt, TX 11/16/2017 2:21:54 PM
Dave, looking forward to it!
bron, CO 11/16/2017 6:16:41 PM
Im so jealous, but very happy for you at the same time Dave! I look forward to the tales from your journeys. Be safe and have fun!
TigerHunter, CO 11/16/2017 6:55:53 PM
Can't wait to read about your adventures on the road with Sue! If I can't make it up to the Barbs and Brews lets get together and have a beer soon! Congrats.
Hops, CO 11/17/2017 9:21:02 AM
That sounds so great, It's like you are 21 again only with lots of experience and wisdom. Best to you as you travel, can't wait to read your posts from around the USA.
IceFishingFool, CO 11/17/2017 8:38:19 PM
Super Fantastic Dave
esoxrocks, CO 11/18/2017 11:13:29 AM
Good read, and timely, as the wife and I have started serious discussions about what retirement will look like. Unless we win the lottery, any plan will involve trade-offs, but it's very helpful the hear how other folks have approached these decisions. Keep us up to date on your adventures!
Ryan, CO 11/18/2017 4:05:02 PM
Congratulations! At some point in time, I hope to retire and travel in an RV as well. However, I think I am probably 20 years behind you. Good luck on the new adventures! Looking forward to reading about them.
Coyute, CO 11/20/2017 8:47:38 AM
Enjoy! I've been a passenger in your old vehicle and have seen you drive first hand - so if you are rambling through the front range please give me a heads up. We haven't always seen eye-to-eye but I've learned a bunch from you. I hope you enjoy your retirement.
David Coulson (Flyrodn), CO 11/20/2017 10:16:52 AM
Thank you all for your gracious comments, and a special thanks to Coyute. I appreciate the comment. I can't help but note you've become an excellent bass angler, mostly on your own accord. I'm looking forward to being on the road with time to explore many of this country's great fisheries.